Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Post your builds here

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby SwollenGoat23 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:26 am

What about your gaskets? Did it come with Silicon gaskets behind the glass? I just got a 3" flute from china. Although I specified PTFE gaskets, they shorted me a couple 2" and the (inner) gaskets behind the glass were still silicon. I could smell those gaskets through the box before I even opened it. Not to mention the U-bend is almost an O-bend, the parrot almost touches the column...
They sure are pretty though, Congrats.
SwollenGoat23
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:16 pm
Location: South Louisiana

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:15 pm

Gaskets are all silicon, which I am going to try to change. They were filthy, too. It will be a bit of engineering to change them out to PTFE because the bubble plates are made of surprisingly thick copper. Much thicker than the Mile-Hi perf plates. So I'll have to remove the inside parts of the 4" PTFE gaskets between the flute sections. I'll leave the bead. Then it's a challenge to get the tri-clamps on them.

If anyone has a line on flexible PTFE gaskets, I'd like to know. The ones I got from Glacier Tanks are hard as rocks and completely non-compressible. I'm not sure I could get the sight glasses to seal at all with these hard PTFE gaskets.

My U-bend is 12 inches center to center, so the parrot ends up being far enough away, but still pretty close to the boiler.

I did my water cleaning run today after adding the 50A circuit this morning to see if anything sparked.

I took Oldvine Zin's advice and used the included condensers in the cleaning run. I had a hard time knocking down the steam with the reflux, but I realize that water steam has more heat than alcohol will carry. Also, it will take me a while to get a touch for how fast this reacts to changing power. It looks like it takes quite a while for the heat to drop out of the double-boiler.

I had visions of the pressure in the jacket running away from me, but the whole water volume inside the kettle and the stainless walls are like a huge reflux condenser. It knocks down the vapor. Even though I could hear the water boiling loudly in the jacket, no pressure was building up in the jacket until the water in the main kettle volume got up to close to 100C. I left the two heating elements running at 20 amps, which should be about 9600W total. I eventually got some pressure, but with the pressure in the jacket above 2psi the water inside the cooking volume was boiling really vigorously, so I'm not sure I need to go much above that. It seems like it will be simple to control. It will just have a long delay between power changes.

The agitator motor worked really well. It has a 1080 rpm 3 phase motor on it, but they use 2 capacitors to simulate three phase on my single-phase 240V input by shifting the waves on the two other legs. I've read that it isn't the most efficient way to run it, but it seemed to run fine. That motor goes into a gear box with a worm gear that gives it a 30:1 ratio, which leaves it at 36 rpm. Or 1-2/3 seconds per revolution, which seems about perfect for keeping the stir going.

I did end up pushing those buttons, now that it has power and a load. It's a GFCI, for sure. The lower orange button trips it and opens the breaker. To reset it you have to push the upper blue button, then open the breaker all the way and close it again.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby rubelstrudel » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:07 am

What you're looking for then is probably "expanded ptfe" or foam ptfe seals. I see them popping up on aliexpress by the meter or square meter for self cutting.
rubelstrudel
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:48 am
Location: Vestfold

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:01 am

rubelstrudel wrote:What you're looking for then is probably "expanded ptfe" or foam ptfe seals. I see them popping up on aliexpress by the meter or square meter for self cutting.


Interesting. Think the self-cut stuff would work between 4" triclamp column sections to seal it even though it doesn't have a bead?
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby rubelstrudel » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:33 am

MtRainier wrote:Interesting. Think the self-cut stuff would work between 4" triclamp column sections to seal it even though it doesn't have a bead?


I haven't really tried it yet. But I imagine a 3mm or 2mm sheet of expanded ptfe would make great seals when cut to size.
rubelstrudel
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:48 am
Location: Vestfold

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:42 am

rubelstrudel wrote:
MtRainier wrote:Interesting. Think the self-cut stuff would work between 4" triclamp column sections to seal it even though it doesn't have a bead?


I haven't really tried it yet. But I imagine a 3mm or 2mm sheet of expanded ptfe would make great seals when cut to size.


I'll buy some and give it a try and let the forum know. 8)
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby SaltyStaves » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:32 am

MtRainier wrote:If anyone has a line on flexible PTFE gaskets, I'd like to know.


https://www.google.com/search?q=tri+clo ... 4&bih=1077

They are the best option, but are more pricey than solid PTFE gaskets.
SaltyStaves
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:04 pm

SaltyStaves wrote:
MtRainier wrote:If anyone has a line on flexible PTFE gaskets, I'd like to know.


https://www.google.com/search?q=tri+clo ... 4&bih=1077

They are the best option, but are more pricey than solid PTFE gaskets.


Wow, never heard of those. Thanks!
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby shadylane » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:14 pm

There's always plan B
Wrap a silicone gasket with PTFE tape.
It don't leak :wink:
Besides I'd rather read about what MtRainier's going to do with his new toy :lol:
User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5988
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:29 am

shadylane wrote:Besides I'd rather read about what MtRainier's going to do with his new toy :lol:


I hear ya. I am gonna take a crack at some of the all grain recipes here I have been avoiding because I don’t like dealing with corn and rye. I can’t wait to sell my mop bucket!

Looking at HBB, Booner’s Casual, Jimbo’s wheated, SCD’s CROW bourbon, Jimbo single malt. Got a big list to keep me occupied.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:10 pm

I discovered a new obstacle. The drain valve is lower than bucket height. I don’t have a slop pump, so I need to take one 5 gallon bucket at a time out. It needs to be about 6 inches higher. I may go to Harbor Freight to get a motorcycle lift to lift the whole thing when I am ready to dump it.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby The Baker » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:32 pm

Put the still on a stand?

Geoff
The Baker
The Baker
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 2046
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:39 pm

The Baker wrote:Put the still on a stand?

Geoff


Sure, bu it has such nice wheels to move it around if not on a stand.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby Windswept » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:47 pm

Break a hole in the floor? ;)
Calix meus inebrians
Windswept
Novice
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:32 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby Allmyexsliveinhell » Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:04 pm

Remove the wheels and put them on the stand, secure boiler to stand.
--Marine Bayouligist and Thread Killer Extraordinaire--
https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=73476-15.5gallon Keg with Thumper
https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=73737-six gallon electric stripper
User avatar
Allmyexsliveinhell
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:30 am
Location: NOLA

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby LWTCS » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:10 am

Allmyexsliveinhell wrote:Remove the wheels and put them on the stand, secure boiler to stand.



....then put the wheels on the stand.

Would be a shame to loose the flexibility of pushing your rig around.

Wait!!! Chip a hole into your work space floor and dig a drywall commensurately sized to dump 20 years worth of spent kettle charges!!! And er,,,,,,your welcome. Lol.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 10172
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:30 am

LWTCS wrote:
Allmyexsliveinhell wrote:Remove the wheels and put them on the stand, secure boiler to stand.

....then put the wheels on the stand.

Would be a shame to loose the flexibility of pushing your rig around.

Wait!!! Chip a hole into your work space floor and dig a drywall commensurately sized to dump 20 years worth of spent kettle charges!!! And er,,,,,,your welcome. Lol.


Lol, I like the hole idea. It would give me an excuse to rent an electric jackhammer again. Last time was the basement shower.

I can lift it, with some discomfort, with the column off. I rigged up a 24x24x8 platform using 4 concrete blocks and a 24x24 piece of plywood. I will lock the wheels and set it up there with the jacket and boiler empty when I’m preparing to do a run. Then after I drain everything after cleaning I will pull it down and roll it back under the stairs.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:28 pm

Fits on the stand well.

IMG_20190403_222447.jpg
on stand
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:25 pm

Did the cleaning run today. I diluted a gallon of 90 percent abv tails to 10 percent abv and ran it in full reflux.

These thick bubble plates are a challenge to seal in there. I had to use a screwdriver as a cheater to tighten the triclamps.

Also, one end of the water jacket sight glass leaked a bit. When I took it apart I saw that the silicone seal was torn. I will try to get a new one mailed from China. 8)
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby LWTCS » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:10 am

There should be a silicon gasket behind the glass and then a Teflon gasket in front.

If there is a silicon gasket in front, simply butter it up a bit with some mineral oil to prevent the bezel grabbing the gasket and inflicting damage when twisting down the bezel if you see my meaning.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 10172
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:25 am

LWTCS wrote:There should be a silicon gasket behind the glass and then a Teflon gasket in front.

If there is a silicon gasket in front, simply butter it up a bit with some mineral oil to prevent the bezel grabbing the gasket and inflicting damage when twisting down the bezel if you see my meaning.


I get what you're saying. It's not that kind of sight glass, though. This one is a level indicator and looks to be a borosilicate glass tube about 50cm long.

In this photo you can see it on the left side of the boiler next to the white brute trash can.

IMG_20190406_145502.jpg
still set up


It was leaking from the bottom of the glass part.

I took it apart and found this, which is what I want them to send a replacement for:

IMG_20190406_191522.jpg
torn silicone gasket
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby LWTCS » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:53 am

Ah I see.
Your liquid level indicator.

..........Never mind......
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 10172
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:47 pm

I did just follow your advice, though, and put some silicone grease on it, then reassembled it with the torn one on top.

It's holding pressure just fine now. At around 2psi and no hissing.

Thanks. It worked.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:12 pm

In asking the manufacturer about getting a replacement seal I also asked what pressure I can run in the jacket. They said it's rated for 0.1MPa, or 14PSIG. I'm not getting anywhere near that, but it's nice to know I can go up to 4-5 psi without worrying too much.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby MtRainier » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:18 am

The manufacturer offered to mail me some replacement seals, but I decided to look at some domestic suppliers of Chinese made stainless sanitary hardware, and I think I found them at Glacier Tanks!

https://www.glaciertanks.com/tank-sight ... t-kit.html

Those look like it. I ordered a couple of sets.

I’m also looking in to the gearbox that reduces the agitator motor action by 30:1. It appears to be cast aluminum. I opened the lubrication ports and carefully pulled out some of the oil, which was clean, but those worm gears are notoriously hard on lubricant. I may drain it all and refill with something like Mobil SHC 634. If it fails, it will be pretty tough to get another one.

I ran my first strip in this still yesterday on grain after mashing in it last week and fermenting in it through the week. The agitator ran the whole strip once it got up to temperature. It worked great throughout and the output tastes great. Cleanup at the end wasn’t too bad because I can reach the bottom of it. I may take the advice earlier up in the thread to just remove the wheels and replace them with legs I can secure to the stand. I am happy with where it is, and it’s easy-ish to clean in place. Lots of scooping of the grain slurry. I need a little shovel.

I ended up needing to tip it a bit to get the tank to fully drain, so I need a sustainable way to do that each time. There are three legs and one of them is under the drain spout. It makes it awkward to tip and balance on one of them. I wish the drain was between two instead of above one.
MtRainier
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Chinese double-wall still, ordering and setup

Postby DetroitDIY » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:00 am

LWTCS wrote: simply butter it up a bit with some mineral oil to prevent the bezel grabbing the gasket and inflicting damage when twisting down the bezel if you see my meaning.


Excellent tip LWCTS, I've been struggling to not tear my cork gaskets on my sweat trap adapter sight glasses. Your trick sounds like just the ticket. Thanks.
User avatar
DetroitDIY
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:40 am
Location: SE Michigan

Previous

Return to The Construction Site



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron